Uniting five individual carriers into a single brand.
The challenge facing us with this branding initiative was how to unite five independent carriers – AVIATECA (Guatemala), LACSA (Costa Rica), NICA (Nicaragua), TACA (Honduras) and TACA (El Salvador) - that at times were considered competitors – into a single airline.
For both political and regulatory reasons it was decided that a strategic first step would be a regional alliance. We created the name Grupo TACA for two reasons. One it was easily understood both in English and Spanish, and two – since ultimately the brand identity would become a single brand, TACA - it allowed for a very carefully planned and pre-designed "transitional branding program".
After an extensive Aerobrand platform development process we created the Grupo TACA "anchor" brand identity design – the five golden macaws – which was applied to the tails of all aircraft in the alliance fleet. (The Macaw is a well-known and very symbolic bird of the Central American region and is common to all of the countries served by each carrier.) This anchor united the five carriers and immediately created a sense of a much larger airline as it gave tremendous airport presence to the new Grupo TACA.
In keeping with the transitional branding programme, at first each carrier retained its own identity but used a common alliance typestyle on the forward fuselage. This gave each carrier familiar airport gate identity, yet started the move towards a common brand. It was a simple and inexpensive matter later on in the program to replace these names with that of the single brand – TACA.